Secrets of Ancient Japan Informs Modern Japanese Technology
Secrets of Ancient Japan Informs Modern Japanese Technology
The Science of Melanin*
By Dr. Karl Maret
Moonlight and Nature’s Rhythms*
By Ferris Jabr
Lunar luster triggers mating orgies, guides travelers and even can even provoke magical transformations
One November night each year, beneath the full moon, more than 130 species of corals simultaneously spawn in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Some corals spew plumes of sperm, smoldering like underwater volcanoes. Others produce eggs. But most release both eggs and sperm, packed together in round, buoyant bundles as small as peppercorns and blushed in shades of pink, orange, and yellow.
At first, the parcels wait in the lips of corals. Then, in stunning unison, numerous corals lose their seeds, which hover momentarily above their parents, preserving the shape of the reef in an effervescent echo. Gradually, the bundles drift skyward.
The first time marine biologist Oren Levy witnessed this phenomenon, in 2005, he was near Heron Island, off the east coast of Australia. Fish, marine worms, and various predatory invertebrates zipped through the water, feeding on the coral confetti, which rose slowly from the reef in huge quantities. “It’s like the whole ocean wakes up,” says Levy, who now heads a marine ecology research team at Bar Ilan University in Israel.
“You can watch videos, you can hear about it, but once you are actually in the midst of the biggest orgy on this planet, there’s nothing else like it.”
Corals continue to reproduce in the Great Barrier Reef today, though the sections that have escaped the ravages of climate change are rapidly shrinking. Swimming near the surface of the sea that memorable night 12 years ago, Levy encountered dense pink mats of accumulating eggs and sperm. There, drenched in moonlight, gametes from different colonies began to fuse and form free-swimming larvae, which would eventually settle on the seafloor, bud, and construct new coral citadels—a process now more vital than ever.
The moon is not the only environmental cue the corals use to achieve sexual synchrony on such a massive scale; water temperature and day length also matter. Yet the moon’s presence seems to be crucial. If the sky is too cloudy, and the moon obscured, the corals will often not spawn. Sometimes they delay until the next full moon. In the course of their studies, Levy and his colleagues revealed that not only do corals have light-sensitive neurons tuned to the dim blue wavelengths of moonlight, they also have genes that change their activity level in sync with the waxing and waning moon, regulating reproduction.
Scientists have known for centuries that the moon alters Earth’s ecosystems through gravity. As it spins around our planet, warping space-time, the moon contributes to a complex contortion of the oceans, producing twin bulges we call the tides. In turn, the daily marriage and separation of land and sea transforms the topography of numerous species’ homes and the access they have to food, shelter, and each other.
The moon also stabilizes Earth’s climate. Earth does not have perfect posture; it is tilted along its polar axis, circling the sun at an angle of about 23 degrees. The moon acts as an anchor, preventing the Earth from varying its axial tilt by more than a degree or two. Without the moon, our planet would likely wobble about like a dreidel, tilting a full 10 degrees every 10,000 years, and possibly oscillating the global climate between ice ages and hellish heat the likes of which no species has ever endured.
What is becoming increasingly clear, however, is that the moon also influences life in a more surprising and subtle way: with its light. Most organisms possess an array of genetically encoded biological clocks that coordinate internal physiology and anticipate rhythmic changes in the environment. These clocks are wound by various environmental cues known as zeitgebers (time givers), such as light and temperature.
Sunlight is the best-studied zeitgeber, but it turns out that for many aquatic creatures, moonlight is just as crucial. In the past few years, scientists have rekindled a long-neglected curiosity about the moon’s power to manipulate life, reviving studies on biology’s secret moon clocks.
The Beast of Burden on the Path of Enlightenment*
By Jennifer Deisher
Where else would “God” be found but in the service of Creation itself?
The Earth is a living entity and an intricate, diverse web of all kinds of systems.
As an invited guest, we are living and functioning within her ecosystem because she welcomes us and allows us to be here. We are made of her elements and we are occupants of her Body and Heart.
She is, quite literally, the key to everything in our known universe. She is under our feet and in the air we breathe.
Our planet is our Mother, our home, and our Life-force. It doesn’t matter how skilled we are at meditation or connecting with Spirit because we always come home — right where you are right now.
Through our relationships to the Earth, we find the spiritual and energetic connection that is available to all of us when we leave our hearts and minds open.
That energy – the flow of life – is a continuous cycle of growth and decay, chaos and order, and an ever evolving ecosystem (including humanity) that reflects the nature of our ever-evolving Universe.
But, in our illusory co-existence, we have come to put a “price tag” on Mother Earth and on ourselves by extension, all the while forgetting she is the divine giver of Life… and she can shake us off like a flea at any moment.
The Nature of the Beast
Every intellectual, artist, spiritual leader and scientist will tell you that their inspiration comes from studying the delicate and intelligent design of natural Creation.
Its intricate intelligence is an overwhelmingly profound but consistent and logical interpretation of “God” — the expression of a universal consciousness.
By the expression of this live-giving consciousness, the Earth herself shows a Loving intention; through her thriving beauty and nurturing abundance.
It’s an honestly wonderful and natural epiphany when we can finally come to terms with the fact that “God” has been right here all along, revealing intricate miracle after miracle, right before our eyes. The miracle of Life itself.
Just as intricate, however, is an ancient web of lies that has kept humanity from truly living its divine truth.
As a species, we should feel honoured and humbled to participate in the interactive evolutionary experience that is Earth. But today, something has gone terribly awry.
Steve Taylor Ph.D, author and senior lecturer in Psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University, described this phenomenon in his recent article, Ecocide: The Psychology of Environmental Destruction:
…‘Climate change’ is just one of the environment-related problems we face. Others include the destruction and pollution of ecosystems, the disappearance of other species (both animal and plant), water shortage, over-population, and the rapacious consumption of resources…
Would a sane species abuse their own habitat so recklessly? And would they allow such dangerous trends to intensify without taking any serious measures against them?..
In my view, there are two main psychological factors. The first is what I call our “over-developed sense of ego,” or intensified sense of individuality… Our ego-separateness means that we don’t feel connected to the “web of creation,” the network of life on Earth.
As a result, we don’t feel a responsibility to the rest of the network, or a duty to preserve its harmony.
Instead, our separateness makes us feel entitled to dominate the rest of nature, which is why we feel entitled to own land and natural resources.
The second factor is our “de-sacralised” vision of nature, our inability to sense the “being-ness” of natural phenomena.
As children, we perceive the world around us with intense and vivid perception, and the natural world does appear alive to us, but as adults, our vision of the world becomes de-sensitised and automatic.
We “switch off” to the vivid “is-ness” which we experience as children. The phenomenal world becomes a shadowy, one-dimensional place.
Oh what a tangled web we weave!
This sickness in our collective psyche – this beast of illusion/delusion – is something we have learned to deny to ourselves at all costs, to our own detriment.
We have come to compartmentalize our own existence, believing ourselves to be separate somehow from Mother Earth and the Universe at large.
Stranger Than Fiction
The deceptions that lead us to this false sense of separation go to our very foundations, distorting our sense of self and all that is sacred.
So, when we first begin to see though the illusion, the unbearable emotions of betrayal and fear many of experience can feel like too hard a burden to bear.
It can chill our bones and stoke our innermost fears. Heartbreaking. Painful. And usually very lonely.
Sometimes the truth is hard and, more often than not, much stranger than fiction. Ultimately, however, the truth is unavoidable. It is also extremely empowering.
By first understanding the nature of these deceptions and distortions, and the energy that brought us here, we can begin heal from them on a collective, vibrational level.
“Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.” ~ Micheal Ellner
Deception is not necessarily natural to our being rather it’s something we learn to live with at a young age. As a society, we have learned to adapt to a near impossible situation; a false dichotomy of separation, imposed and implanted by deceit.
An unnatural consciousness has pervaded our collective mind, and its effects have permeate our shared existence in a multitude of ways; through paternalistic governments that presume to dictate our rights, not protect them; through divisive religions that teach separation from god, and from other faiths;
Through illusory media, which deliberately sells fiction as fact; through manipulated economies, founded on a presumption of inherent debt; through poisonous “health” practices; through the suppression of history; through spiritual misinformation; and through educating our kids in a way that steers, not expands, their natural way of thinking.
All of these distortions serve to manipulate the collective conscious into submission perpetuating an imbalance that provides power and sustenance to those in energetic control.
But today, we have reached a breaking point. The cycle of consensual abuse is breaking down. We are realizing en masse that we have lived out of balance for too long.
We are questioning our existence at a fundamental level, and re-discovering the divine power we have in our lives; power that we have unknowingly given up for so long.
And so, realizing we are a conscious part of the Earth’s eco-system and energy-system, we are being compelled to take responsibility for co-creating a more authentic future, restoring the balance and harmony to Earth – with and for one another.
Finding Order in the Chaos
We can no longer stand quietly in a corner in fear of making the necessary and emotionally uncomfortable changes.
If we don’t turn our fear into courage, our fears will either consume us or they will become manifest. It’s a beast of a journey, but there is a clear path just ahead.
The collective identity crisis we are going through is an opportunity for humanity to find order in the chaos we have allowed to overtake our existence.
It doesn’t matter if we call it archons, satan, or an opposing consciousness. It doesn’t matter whether you see its effect in government or religion, banks or media; it is all part of the same illusion.
Unseen forces have deceived humanity into a state of confusion and disconnection, and we now have the opportunity to reclaim our spiritual center and create a culture that leads us home, not astray.
There is nothing wrong or out of place with this kind of identity crisis, rather it’s a natural process of evolution as we adapt to seemingly overwhelming situations.
But it is vital we realize these situations are the creation and perpetuation of a blatantly unnecessary struggle. We have spent eons chasing our collective tails and our “leaders” could end it all with the stroke of a pen.
They know it and we know it. We have both the resources and the will to support peace, prosperity, health, respect, connection and co-operation, but our institutions have become twisted into machines of war, competition, imposed poverty, illness, and control.
How? Because we tasked someone else to do it for us. We became comfortable separating ourselves from ourselves. As it turns out, we were our own worst enemy; our very nature carefully manipulated against us.
There are many ways we can begin to find order in the chaos. Start by looking in the mirror. Ask questions of yourSelf, and open your perspective.
Connect with the Earth. Our intuition is clearest within the realms of nature. Know your ‘enemies’, both seen and unseen. Know that only light can eliminate darkness.
Transparency ensures Truth. Understand that, if it operates in secret you can be sure it is not operating in your favor.
If in doubt, follow the ‘money trail’. It’s a sure way to know what path someone is truly walking.
Most importantly, come to know your infinite power. Recognize where you give your power away, and where you can reclaim it. That’s where your new path becomes most clear.
The Path of Knowledge
It is true, we have been moulded with deliberately altered perspectives and values into a society dependent on the undependable. But that doesn’t make us victims;
Most of us have unknowingly enabled the power structure that has manipulated our collective consciousness, working for and even defending the status quo, following orders and “bringing home the bacon” in a sleepy state of unquestioning compliance.
What it does make us is responsible for contributing to the solution, through conscious action.
Simply speaking, we either consent to the deception, or we stand up together and change it, each contributing in whatever unique way the universe provides us individually.
Trust the path of knowledge that you are walking down. As we share our truth, we test our own knowledge and knowing, and cultivate a healthy relationship with our truth. We realize our new awareness is not “all in our head”.
We begin to remove the emotional blocks (humiliation, self-doubt, fear) that stop us from speaking our own truth more freely, and we more easily find others to share our path.
We learn to live as spiritually sovereign “masters of our domain”. We begin to forge healthier relationships with our Self and others. And by living in our Truth, we find sustenance, guidance and inspiration in new and surprising ways.
We re-establish our unobstructed connection to the divine. And we create a blueprint of purpose that benefits us on a vibrational level, as well as Mother Earth. (We’re all interconnected, yeah?)
It’s not always easy to burden a deeper level of awareness but it’s no longer an excuse to “let someone else handle it” either.
We have reached a choice point in our human history and we have to decide whether we’re going to stand tall in our humanness and, to find a strategy to turn this energy around, we have to truly understand our position and our part in getting here, and bravely be the change our most authentic self wants to see in the world.
It can feel isolating and chaotic, but in the big picture, we’re right where we need to be on the path of our evolution. These are exciting times!
We know what it’s like to destroy together, but do we truly know the power of what we can create together if we’re on the same page? Remember your light and your own power. Our potential is infinite.
Home is Where the Heart Is
“God” is found in the service of Creation itself. She is in the air we breathe and the Earth beneath our feet, the fire that burns the cobwebs away and the spiritual river that cleanses our hearts; not a paternalistic figure in the sky but the divine Mother of Life from whom we are born and sustained, and to whom we finally return.
We are a part of her and she is an inextricably part of us. The history we share with her is important.
We must learn to recognize her (and ourselves) as the manifestation of divine intelligence, and honor her in our words and deeds.
As we each adopt the common philosophy of “home is where the heart is”, we can begin to heal and re-build our planet and our societies in a grassroots way (literally), supporting and co-creating in our physical communities, online and otherwise.
There is no way to truly live authentically from inside an illusion. As we move into our new awareness, our inner truth and our outer world can become increasingly incompatible.
We find ourselves dissatisfied with small changes, feeling compelled to take the leap and re-shape our lives at a fundamental level. This takes trust.
Just know that when we begin to walk a different path, new roads will always be waiting for us up ahead. The path of true enlightenment has no dead ends.
So, if you’re in the process of questioning that toxic relationship in your life or the job that makes you feel less than honourable, stop and consider if this article is the ‘nudge’ you’ve been waiting for.
At some point, we each have to begin to trust in the process of disconnecting from illusions of the world around us, and all its trappings, and let go of external factors and emotional attachments that speak of our consent and support of this distorted state of existence.
It’s so important right now, as things are surfacing so quickly, to stay in our hearts. On this path of awakening, our “self-work” is never, ever done… because we are infinite and we never stop creating.
Creation is, and always has been, all around us. We are a part of creation, and it is a part of us. Co-creating is our purpose for being here together.
It is time we take our power back from alphabet agencies and secret agendas.
Sharing our unique insights and gifts, we can shine light into the shadows and create a future of enlightenment, not illusion.
Hacking The Planet: The Climate Engineering Reality*
By Dane Wigington
In the mid 1940’s global powers made the decision to intervene in Earth’s climate and life support systems without the knowledge or consent of populations.
The weather makers tell us their programs are a form of mitigation for global warming, but is this the truth?
Is climate engineering / solar radiation management helping to cool the planet?
Or are the ongoing geoengineering operations only temporarily cooling some regions at the cost of further fuelling the overall rapid unravelling of Earth’s climate and life support systems? What other covert agendas are being carried out? How dangerous is the highly toxic heavy metal fallout from these programs that is raining down through our breathable air column? ”
Hacking The Planet: The Climate Engineering Reality” is a condensed hard hitting 40+ minute climate engineering educational documentary. This informational video reveals shocking film footage of the ongoing atmospheric spraying operations in addition to covering the most fundamental facts about the covert global geoengineering / climate intervention programs. Answers to the most frequently asked climate engineering questions are also covered in this production.
Will climate engineering save humanity from global warming?
Or will man’s attempt to play God with the weather only ensure our common demise?
Use of the Pythagorean Theorem and its Three Dimensions in Ancient Babylon*
By Luis Teia
Very much like today, the Old Babylonians—20th to 16th centuries BC—had the need to understand and use what is now called the Pythagoras’ (or Pythagorean) theorem. They applied it in very practical problems such as to determine how the height of a cane leaning against a wall changes with its inclination. This sounds trivial, but it was one of the most important problems studied at the time.
A remarkable Old Babylonian clay tablet, commonly referred to as Plimpton 322, was found to store combinations of three positive integers that satisfy Pythagoras’ theorem. Today we call them primitive Pythagorean triples where the term primitive implies that the side lengths share no common divisor.
Why was the tablet built?
Unlike what one may imagine, the reason behind the tablet was not an interest in the number-theoretical question, but rather the need to find data for a ‘solvable’ mathematical problem. It is even believed that this tablet was a ‘teacher’s aide’ for setting up and solving problems involving right triangles. This sounds like an environment not so different from our classrooms today.
How is this related to us?
As human beings we share the same nature as the Old Babylonians – in solving problems to live and evolve. The problems nowadays are normally more exotic and elaborate than a cane against a wall, but they share the same legacy. Right-angles are everywhere, whether it is a building, a table, a graph with axes, or the atomic structure of a crystal. While these are our contemporary challenges, we, like the Babylonians, strive to deepen our understanding of the Pythagoras’ theorem, and on the various triples that generate these useful right-angles for our everyday practical applications.
Were the Babylonians so different from us?
Babylonians may have used algorithms to compute side lengths of right-angled triangles into areas, and vice versa, similar to our contemporary numerical methods of analysis. These areas were farming fields, while the side lengths were canals for irrigation. Maybe the canals were structured to distribute a certain amount of water per canal.
Nowadays, in a very similar manner, computers are used to find the distribution of properties (e.g., stress, deflection, etc.) along a material (e.g., a metal beam), or even the displacement of fluids through volumes (i.e., computational fluid dynamics).
To find a solution to a problem, analytical solutions are often not available. Hence, numerical methods are employed. These consist of splitting the volume that is being analyzed (say the material of a beam, or the air in a room) into small elements (typically Platonic solids like prisms or tetrahedral). It is interesting to think that this so-called “meshing” in the engineering world, or splitting a calculation into small portions, was already applied by the old Babylonians.
Overall, one could say that the tendency to split a problem into pieces, and solve them individually to find the answer, is a human characteristic that we share with the people of Babylon. From this perspective, the Babylonians were not so different from us.
Did the Babylonians know the Pythagoras’ Theorem?
Some argue that scribes in Old Babylonian period knew Pythagoras’ theorem 1,000 years before he did . The most famous tablets here – one showing a square with two diagonals, and Plimpton 322 containing a table of numerical symbols – suggests that the Babylonians knew at least some of the consequences of the theorem . Whether they derived the proof as Pythagoras did, it is unknown.
It is clear that the Pythagoras’ theorem has greatly helped humankind to evolve. It is universally applicable, but still it is exclusively binding to two dimensions. Since we live in a three dimensional world, the awareness of this gap in knowledge poses the question…
What does the Pythagoras’ Theorem look like in three dimensions?
Until recently, this was not known. For the past five years, Luis Teia has conducted a one-man quest to shed light on this mystery. Based on his recent paper, Pythagoras triples explained via central squares published in the 2015 edition of the Australian Mathematics Senior Journal, he derived the proof. It is not philosophically farfetched to say that even the simplest things escape great minds. For example, Teia shows how to hand draw all the Pythagoras’ triples starting from the first (3,4,5) together in one outward evolving infinite spiral. This is something Pythagoras himself could have drawn some 2500 years ago, but the fact is, it eluded him and his followers, until now. Similarly, the three dimensional version of his theorem also eluded him, and is now presented.
Why is the 3D Pythagorean Theorem important?
Considering the radical technological leap that Pythagoras imparted on mankind with his theorem some 2.5 millennia ago, the implications of this new 3D version can be equally significant today. Perhaps, it leads to an “upgraded” three-dimensional version of our current trigonometry. Who knows?
As for Teia’s next dream, he will be exploring the physical meaning of the three dimensional theorem (ergo the 3D “cane against the wall” problem), and the practical impact it has on contemporary science.
Your Body Cries Out for Water*
What if water, plain and simple, was the most critically lacking substance for energy and health promotion in the modern lifestyle?
By Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D.
Some years ago, I read the late Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj’s marvelous book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, first published in 1992 and more recently updated in 2008. Here this Iranian-American physician made and makes a strong case that chronic low grade and usually unrecognized dehydration affects most of us in the West, attuned as we are to avoiding water as a beverage and too often choosing dehydrating caffeinated and sweetened drinks that only contribute to the problem. After all, caffeine is a well-known diuretic, as is sugar.
We may think when we imbibe sodas, coffee, energy drinks, or for the healthier among us, even herbal teas, that we are in effect ingesting adequate “water.” But as Dr. Batmanghelidj points out, such intake only makes dehydration worse, causing a greater water loss overall than we take in. For example, for every 10 ounces of a caffeinated beverage, be it coffee, black tea, soda pop or an “energy” drink, we can lose up to 12 ounces of water, a loss contributing to, not resolving, low grade chronic dehydration. Even the healthy favorites of non-caffeinated herbal teas dehydrate, due to the complex combination of diuretic molecules in the brew as well as the osmotic effect.
“Your Body’s Many Cries For Water” — Dr. Batmanghelidj, M.D.
After reading this book and the several that followed, I began to suspect that many of my patients, often diagnosed with life threatening malignancies and other serious degenerative diseases, appeared to be chronically dehydrated, though virtually none expressed any sensation of thirst. Many, when first starting treatment with me, acknowledged that they never drank any water at all, relying instead, and mistakenly, on a variety of other beverages including dehydrating herbal teas they assumed provided for all water needs. For many years I have routinely recommended my patients drink a minimum of 6-8 glasses of water a day in addition to whatever other liquids they might ingest such as the recommended vegetable juices. More recently, after giving greater thought to the subject, I have been recommending now 8-10 glasses a day, along with one half teaspoon of good quality sea salt, such as Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt. And, I have been surprised by the unexpected results.
Recently, one patient’s cholesterol, despite intensive nutritional supplementation including those anti-cholesterol nutrients such as carnitine, etc. a proper organic diet and intensive detoxification routines, continued to rise toward the 300 level. When I questioned him, he readily admitted that though I had suggested he consume 6-8 glasses of water daily, he assumed that the four glasses of prescribed carrot juice and a remarkable eight cups of organic herbal tea would serve as equivalents to drinking plain water, which he found tedious to do and distasteful. When I instructed him that he immediately eliminate all herbal tea from his diet substituting instead the recommended water, within six weeks his total cholesterol dropped 63 points and his HDL, the alleged “good” cholesterol, went up considerably. Water intake had done effectively in six weeks what many heart-friendly supplements and an ideal nutritionally replete diet had failed to do in a year.
Dr. Batmanghelidj provides an interesting explanation for such cholesterol drops, as I have now observed in my own practice. Water certainly serves many functions in our body, as a solvent in the blood, as well as “filler” in the extra and intracellular spaces, but it also functions as a main adhesive in cell membranes, keeping them intact while yet fluid, allowing the necessary passage of molecules in and out of the cell. As a polar molecule, water’s electrically charged surfaces keep the complex molecules that make up the membrane itself in place, where they are supposed to be. In a state of deficiency as the water level in the membranes falls, the movement of nutrients into the cells and wastes out becomes significantly less efficient, and the membrane structure itself becomes less stable. In this situation, if chronic, the liver begins synthesizing and releasing cholesterol into the bloodstream; this lipid can then substitute for water as a last ditch adhesive in the cells, to keep their membranes functional. So, an elevated cholesterol in the context of undiagnosed chronic water deficiency reflects the body’s wisdom, rather than some random or genetic mystery.
Dr. Batmanghelidj also makes a case that diabetes may be another result of chronic subclinical water deficiency. To understand his argument, as a start I think it would be useful to summarize, though briefly, what insulin does. This hormone, through a complex receptor system and signal transduction in the target cells, drives glucose across membranes so it can be used by cells as an energy source. Along with the glucose, other substances including potassium, certain amino acids, and importantly, water pass into the cell interior. As Dr. Batmanghelidj points out, this insulin-stimulated flow of water from the extracellular to the intracellular space can be a problem with even mild dehydration, leading as it can to further depletion of the body’s extracellular fluids and reduced blood volume. Since neurons are 85% water in their healthy state and since the brain receives and requires fully 20% of our total blood supply, carrying with it oxygen and essential nutrients, the effect of vascular volume depletion can be catastrophic. Dr. Batmanghelidj argues that to preserve its own blood supply and the integrity of its nine trillion cells, the brain, through prostaglandin and neurologic signaling, suppresses insulin synthesis and secretion. This in turn reduces the constant flow of water into the various cells of the body, conserving water to satisfy the brain’s own requirements. Of course there’s a tradeoff, reduced fluid supplies to most cells in order to meet the water demands of the central nervous system.
To complicate matters, deficiency in salt (sodium chloride), an essential nutrient, often accompanies and complicates subclinical as well as overt dehydration. This is particularly true in our current medical climate, in which physicians generally ignore the importance of adequate water intake at the same time demonizing salt, ignoring the mineral’s many essential biochemical functions. Among its many responsibilities, sodium chloride is an essential component of the extracellular fluids, helping to maintain its normal osmotic state. In salt deficiency, the extracellular “sea” becomes dilute to the point water will flow into the area of higher density within the cell, contributing to the further depletion of extracellular fluids. But as the pancreatic beta cells reduce insulin secretion and blood glucose levels rise in response to dehydration, glucose can substitute for sodium in the extracellular space, maintaining normal osmotic balance while reducing the potentially dangerous excessive flow of water into the cells. In this vision, diabetes serves as an appropriate response to a difficult situation, chronic dehydration, reorganizing basic physiological processes as the disease we call diabetes in order to preserve our brain health.
In his writings, Dr. Batmanghelidj perceives diabetes as a problem primarily of insulin suppression, which helps compensates for significant water and salt deficiency. We, however, in our office, see the situation a bit differently, and with greater complexity.
As to some background, my colleague Dr. Linda Isaacs and I offer a very intensive nutrition program for the treatment of cancer and other serious illness, involving three basic components: individualized diets, individualized supplement regimens, and “detoxification” routines such as the coffee enemas. The diets we prescribe can range from largely plant based, raw foods (always organic of course) to an Atkins-type largely fatty red meat plan (all grass fed). We base our specific dietary and supplement recommendations on the state of the each patient’s Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), that collection of neurons that regulate virtually all physiological processes including respiration, cardiovascular activity, digestion, endocrine secretion, and immune function. Neurophysiologists further divide the Autonomic Nervous System into two branches, the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) which work in opposition to each other but synergistically to regulate metabolism from moment to moment, as our activities, needs, and stresses change. For example, keeping the discussion brief, when the sympathetic system fires, heart rate and blood pressure increase, and blood shunts from the digestive organs and skin to the brain. When the parasympathetic neurons fire, an opposite series of events follows, with blood flowing more readily to the digestive system and skin, and less so to the brain. Of course, in classical physiology the SNS represents the stress nervous system which mobilizes the body’s resources to deal with any minor or major difficulty in our lives, sending blood to the brain so we can think fast and to our muscles so we can react quickly as needed, while shutting down non-essential – at least in the stressful moment – processes like digestion. In contrast, the PNS acts more as the system of repair, rebuilding, and regeneration, responsible for the breakdown of food, the absorption, assimilation, and utilization of nutrients.
We believe certain patients have a strong sympathetic system, and a corresponding weak parasympathetic system. This has relevance to our discussion, since when the sympathetic system fires, its active nerves suppress pancreatic insulin secretion while at the same time stimulating the breakdown of body proteins and storage carbohydrates into simple glucose, hence ultimately raising blood sugar.
In such patients with a strong SNS, the brain, perceiving chronic even low grade dehydration as a significant danger and physiologic stress, further activates the already hypertonic SNS, suppressing insulin release still more and encouraging glucose production. If prolonged without resolution of the underlying dehydration, the scenario outlined by Dr. Batmanghelidj ensues, with the brain trying to maintain extracellular and essential blood volume by reducing insulin secretion and increasing the osmotic effect of glucose in the extracellular fluids. In such patients, we prescribe a diet and supplement regiment aimed at reducing sympathetic tone, at the same time increasing PNS activity. But if we don’t also correct dehydration with adequate water intake, the SNS will keep firing, determined to keep blood flow to the brain intact.
In another group of patients we find a strong parasympathetic nervous system, and a correspondingly weak sympathetic system, and in them diabetes has a different origin, and a different course. In contrast to the SNS, when the PNS nerves activate they directly stimulate the pancreatic beta cells to synthesize and release copious amounts of insulin into the bloodstream. Consequently, these patients, even when healthy, tend toward high blood insulin and a lower than “normal” blood sugar, since glucose will be shunted out of the blood and into the cells rather continuously.
With dehydration, even low grade, chronic dehydration these “Parasympathetic Dominants” as we call them, must also work to conserve extracellular fluid volume. However, over time though they continue to secrete excess insulin, in response the receptors for the hormone situated on target cells withdraw from the membrane, neutralizing its glucose-driving effect no matter how high the insulin level goes. We end up with the paradoxical situation of high blood insulin, coupled with high blood sugar – what contemporary researchers refer to as “insulin resistance,” a syndrome I associate primarily if not exclusively with an overly strong parasympathetic system. But the end result, in a state of dehydration, is the same as insulin suppression in the “Sympathetic Dominants”, less water seeping into cells and higher extracellular glucose acting as an osmotic pull to keep water where it is most needed in the bloodstream. With these patients we prescribe a diet and supplement regimen designed to suppress the overactive PNS and stimulate the weaker SNS. But in addition to appropriate diet and supplement programs, adequate water and with it salt are a must.
Though I found the clinical results of increasing water impressive, I became intrigued by my patients reporting significant improvement in their overall energy as well as their cognition, often within days of upping their water while at the same time reducing ingestion of dehydrating liquids like tea. I began to suspect a fair amount of fatigue – both severe in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and less so in the typical malaise reported by so many in this day and age – has, as a significant component, chronic low-grade dehydration.
My clinical observations led me to an intensive review of the literature on cellular energetics, both academic and more popular, including the books of Dr. Batmanghelidj, many of them well-referenced. I began to suspect that everything I had been taught about the subject of water in my highly “sophisticated” biochemistry courses in medical school may have been very much misguided. Of course, it has been long dogma, for at least 50 years that our cells synthesize the energy they need from the breakdown of food stuffs, including complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fatty acids into glucose, a six carbon sugar. Ultimately, or so the teaching goes, each molecule of glucose provided either directly from diet or indirectly from the conversion of certain amino acids and fatty acid break down products, gets channeled into glycolysis, a series of ten complex reactions occurring within the cell cytoplasm. This sequence of molecular events ultimately reduces glucose to the two carbon molecule pyruvate. In the process, two molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell’s main storage molecule for potential energy, form. In ATP, potential energy resides in what are called “high energy phosphate” chemical bonds, where it is held in reserve until released. I might add that biochemists consider a two molecule production of ATP trivial for all the complicated enzymatic efforts involved in these initial steps of glucose metabolism.
From this point, the pyruvate enzymatically transforms into another two carbon molecule, acetyl-Coenzyme A, which then gets directed into one of the many mitochondria, those small organelles sitting within the cell cytoplasm considered as the main site of energy synthesis in mammalian cells. As an aside, mitochondria have a distinct micro-structure, with two membranes encasing the organelle interior, or matrix, and containing its own unique mitochondrial DNA that in us comes only from our mothers.
Here in the mitochondrial matrix the pyruvate offspring acetyl-Coenzyme A goes through a second series of eight chemical reactions known collectively as the citric acid or Krebs cycle, yielding another two molecules of ATP, still a paltry amount for all the complicated biochemistry. But then quickly, in yet another series of complex series of steps known as oxidative phosphorylation occurring on the mitochondrial membrane, hydrogen atoms released from the breakdown of glucose enzymatically convert into positively charged hydrogen ions and a single negatively charged electron. This electron passes in turn through a series of electron transport reactions yielding an additional and now substantial 34 ATP molecules. Think of relay runners passing the baton in turn, as the electrons move along the steps of oxidative phosphorylation. So in total, each single molecule of glucose travelling into the glycolysis-citric acid cycle-oxidative phosphorylation pathways forms a total of 38 ATP molecules – long thought, in fact thought even today, to be the main and the only source of energy to drive the thousands of cellular reactions occurring each second.
In essence, this hypothesis taught as fact, this construct – and that’s all it is, a construct – assumes at its core that our food either directly or indirectly provides the molecule glucose needed as the starting point for these reactions. There is, or so I was taught, no other way for our cells to synthesize usable energy and survive, other than from the breakdown of the materials we ingest as food.
Instinctively, I began to question this traditional view of cellular energetics, observing over and over again the rapid improvement in energy in my patients with an increase not in food, but in water. How could that be?
As a first point, biochemists state in the citric acid cycle the step-wise reactions of acetyl-Coenzyme A release 20 neutral-charge hydrogen atoms, whose further reduction into hydrogen ions and an electron allows for the large numbers of ATP molecules synthesized during oxidative phosphorylation. But where one might ask, do these hydrogen atoms, absolutely critical for the creation of adequate ATP in this process, come from? They come from one place, and one place only, water. In the chemical process known as hydrolysis, water – which is remember, two hydrogens combined with one molecule of oxygen – reacts with those molecules originating from the metabolism of glucose, releasing the hydrogen atoms so crucial in the succeeding steps in the ATP production line. In retrospect, knowing what I know now, it is interesting to note that in the textbooks, the authors when discussing cellular glucose metabolism invariably mention water almost in passing, as some secondary player in the process. Yet it is far more, it is absolutely critical, as critical as glucose itself, for without adequate water insufficient hydrogen atoms will be available to produce the high levels of storage ATP energy needed to fuel every reaction in every cell in the body.
From my own clinical observations and from Dr. Batmanghelidj’s writings, I suspected low grade chronic dehydration – which he reports and which I believe as well – affects the great majority of us Americans. This overall subclinical deficiency curtails water availability even at the level of the cell cytoplasm and mitochondria, in turn reducing production of ATP and leading to all manner of disability, from chronic fatigue to, Dr. Batmanghelidj argues, auto immune disease, even cancer. This shouldn’t be surprising, since in one sense disease, whatever its form and whatever the name the experts give to it, represents at its core a state of cellular energy inefficiency.
I suspected the rapid improvement in energy in many of my patients reflected an improvement in the water mechanics inside the cell, particularly in those neurons within the brain. The brain weighs a mere two and a half or so pounds, yet uses 20-25% of all the body’s energy output, making it a highly metabolically active organ. And its nerve cells consist of 85% water, in contrast to most other body cells whose water content falls somewhat lower, at 75%. Again, though physiologists and biochemists have long known this fact, they present this information as an aside in the textbooks, without editorial comment, where here comment would be useful. The brain needs water, a lot of water, to manufacture the enormous amounts of ATP needed to fuel its complex regulatory activities. Even slight borderline subclinical dehydration that reduces the water content of these neurons inevitably will play havoc on glucose metabolism, ATP production and ultimately on cellular energetics, leading, I believe, to at one end of the spectrum a mild state of fatigue, depression, malaise, and at the other end of more serious water deficiency, neurological disease such as Parkinson’s, even Alzheimer’s.
The story gets even more interesting, beyond the pivotal role of water in the breakdown of food-derived glucose in our various cells. I must give credit to Sayer, who has done a masterful job presenting evidence that scientists such as Gerald Pollack now question, as have I and Dr. Batmanghelidj before me had, this standard model of cellular energetics requiring glucose from foodstuffs as the penultimate starting point. Some now suspect that in another hydrolysis event, in this case the reaction of water with melanin pigment found in the retina of our eyes and throughout our skin, may provide a far greater supply of ATP than that created from the breakdown of foodstuffs and the metabolism of glucose in the usual sequence of glycolysis-citric acid cycle-oxidative phosphorylation.
I agree with the very smart scientists proposing this alternative melanin pathway to energy formation having little to do with food – but much to do with water – but also suspect there exists an additional ATP manufacturing scheme found not just in the eye and skin, but in every cell in our body, all 100 trillion of them. It has been long known that the interior of the cell, loaded as it is with all manner of proteins, peptides, fats, and electrolytes, particularly the positively charged potassium and its adjuvant negative chloride, exhibits a higher osmolality, that is, it is denser than the surrounding extracellular fluid that baths all cells and which contains sodium as its main positive ion. Scientists have precisely calculated this ratio of the density of the cell interior compared to the exterior extracellular fluid in a healthy cell at 1.1 to 0.8. Consequently, water, which will invariably flow from a solution of lesser concentration to a solution of greater concentration across a permeable membrane, will tend to pass continually into our cells, bringing along with it sodium while pushing potassium out. This is a constant process, 24 hours a day. To survive, our cells must expel the extra water and sodium, while drawing in the lost potassium.
Our cell membranes possess an elaborate series of enzymes taught to all first year medical students as the sodium-potassium ATP pump, which requires high energy ATP molecules to fuel the reverse expulsion of water and sodium out of cells. However, my well-intentioned professors, at least in my experience, failed to teach a fact that I find so crucial to understanding cellular energetics. As it turns out, the movement of water into cells through the membrane, as Dr. Batmanghelidj reports from the literature, operates as a microscopic hydroelectric turbine, yielding in the rapid flow more ATP than the process consumes! As an analogy, in a hydroelectric dam the high speed plunging of water down an elevation gradient from higher ground to lower creates energy that can easily be converted into what we call hydroelectricity, energy from water. On a smaller scale at the cell membranes a similar process plays out, endlessly during the life of every cell in our every organ. This constant flow of water into cells isn’t, as I had thought based on my medical school learnings, just an inconvenience, a problem that fortunately our cells have solved with the ATP pump, it may very well turn out to be our most significant source of ATP energy. Dr. Batmanghelidj believes up to 90% of all energy stored as ATP comes not from the breakdown of glucose, but from the hydroelectric processes in these cation pumps at the cell surface.
A further point warrants mention, illustrating the important, crucial role of water in the energy mechanics of the cell. As should be clear by this point, in all our cells ATP represents the primary repository of potential energy used in all cellular processes. There are, to be fair, other, less significant sources such as GTP, guanosine triphosphate that like ATP, stores potential energy in phosphate bonds. But whether we consider ATP or GTP or both, these two molecules release energy as needed through, once again, hydrolysis, the reaction of these molecules with water. Interestingly, the researchers George and colleagues (as discussed by Dr. Batmanghelidj) calculated the actual total energy released from the hydrolysis of ATP with water. ATP itself, in its high-energy phosphate bond, contains the equivalent of 600 units of energy relatively speaking. However, the hydrolysis of ATP to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) eventually releases a total of 6,435 units of usable, available energy, more than ten times the amount contained as potential energy in ATP itself. In effect, the very reaction of hydrolysis releases far more energy than is contained in the high energy bond itself.
So, in summary, water seems to be at the center of cell energetics. This is true whether we stick to the traditional view of ATP production from the metabolism of glucose, a process in which hydrolysis of water yields the lion’s share of ATP, or adopt more contemporary positions that that water mechanics, and water energetics, involve far more than the traditionalists teach. We must today, in addition to the glycolysis pathways, consider the creation of ATP at various other points and in various other processes, including the hydrolysis of melanin and at the hydroelectric cation pumps of the cell membrane. Then there is the hydrolysis of ATP itself, in which the sum total of energy released due to water exponentially exceeds the potential energy contained within the molecular bonds.
If we allow that water provides the spark for energy creation, we must then reconsider the potentially short and long term catastrophic effects of even borderline dehydration that compromises cellular energetics, cellular efficiency, and inevitably, our own health. Dr. Batmanghelidj insists we all need to cut out all caffeine containing and most other non-water fluids, substituting instead a full 8-10 eight ounce glasses of plain water daily, including WITH meals contrary to popular teaching. In addition, he recommends we also ingest for each 10 glasses of water one-half teaspoon of good quality mineral-containing sea salt, such as Celtic or Himalayan, available in any health food store. With increased water intake, we will lose salt, an essential nutrient, so we need to make up the difference. And please, don’t rely on your sense of thirst to determine water needs – in chronic dehydration, from which most of us suffer, our thirst thermostat in the brain down regulates so we learn not be thirsty, even when we need water. Forget the traditional teachings that we should drink only when we are thirsty, and that salt is our enemy. Both ideas, both principles should be discarded forever. And as Dr. Batmanghelidj reports and as I can confirm, I have seen patients with chronic high blood pressure on multiple medications including diuretics, whose blood pressure went down and the medications were discarded when they increased their water and gradually, even their salt intake. But that is another story, for another time.